English Language Arts
Material Type:
Upper Primary
  • 3D Printer
  • 3rd Grade
  • NCEngineers
  • Stem
  • k5engineers
  • License:
    Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike

    Education Standards

    The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

    The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind


    How can we create something from what seems like nothing? 

    Instructor Directions


    The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

    Submitted by Elizabeth Babcock

    Harnett County Schools


    Driving Question / ScenarioHow can we create something from what seems like nothing?
    Project SummaryRead The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba. You can watch a Youtube video of the book here: with students the young man’s bravery and perseverance in the face of adversity. Students will create their own windmills using Google Draw after making a plan on pencil and paper.  We used this video to help us with the drawings:  We then turned out Google Drawings into 3D prints using a 3D printer and downloading the file as a SVG file.  To change an SVG file to a STL file for most 3D printers, we usually upload to Tinkercad and then export as the STL file.  Students will give each other feedback on their designs.  Students will compare and share about their experiences and what they had to overcome in order to be successful.  
    Estimated TimeTwo class periods of 45 minutes -60 minutes each
    Materials / Resources3D printer Scrap paper and pencils for plans  Internet to show videosStudent devices with access to google logins and internet access (access to edit Google Drawings)
    Grade3rd Grade
    Subject(s)Science, Technology, Language Arts, Art, Engineering  
    Educational StandardsCCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.3.3Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of eventsTechnology:  1d Empowered Learner:  Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways6b Creative Communicator:   Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
    Classifying ObjectiveStudents will create their own windmill using Google Drawings after learning about The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
    Project Outline
    AskHow can we create a plan for a windmill like the boy in the story using google drawings?
    ImagineImagine what a windmill needs to make it a successful windmill?  What are the parts that are necessary?  
    PlanMake a plan before using Google Drawing and viewing an online example. Students share ideas and necessary components for their drawings.  
    CreateCreate your own using Google Drawings drawing tools. Students may use line tools and shapes.  These will all look different.  They can work individually or in pairs.  Go over how to change line thickness in Google Drawings so that students have a more defined line for the 3D printer. 
    ImproveShare drawings with classmates in order to improve and make revisions to your Google Drawings before downloading them as SVG files to send to the 3D printer.  
    Closure / Student ReflectionsStudents will view other students’ prints and see how they are different and compare.  What traits were necessary for them to persevere through their task like The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind?
    Possible Modifications / ExtensionsPossible Modifications:  Without a 3D printer, Google Drawings can be printed on paper Extensions:  The story is true, and you can learn more about it here: